Learn sacred and magical herbalism. Contact me for more info and guidance : firstname.lastname@example.org
. . . Will matter then be destroyed or not?
22) The Savior said, All nature, all formations, all creatures exist in and with one another, and they will be resolved again into their own roots.
23) For the nature of matter is resolved into the roots of its own nature alone.
24) He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
~Gospel of Mary Magdalene
The Mandaeans of southern Iraq are the only remaining Gnostic sect from ancient times. They began their history on Sri Lanka when the island was part of the land-mass of Lemuria and home of the primeval Goddess Culture. Eventually migrating west they became part of the Sumerian, Persian, Egyptian and Jewish Essene civilizations. Finally, retracing their steps, they returned to their present location. In the tradition of the ancient gnostic sects descended from the Goddess and the Left Hand Path, the Mandaeans are dedicated to the achievement of gnosis for all their people, which they know involves the balance and union of the polarity and the alchemical force that results from that union.
To engender the balance and union of the polarity in their culture, the Mandaeans provide equal rights for both men and women. They are governed by their priest/priestess class, which is composed of both men and women. The centerpiece of their religion is the rite of baptism which is observed daily, during which is invoked the presence of the ancient Dragon Enki, the embodiment of the alchemical Kundalini, under his contemporary name of Manda d’Hiya. Enki is the “Water of Life,” the subtle alchemical force that moves within the physical water of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. When activated it purifies Mandaeans on all levels and can awaken their “inner Enki,” the Kundalini power at the base of the spine.
The daily baptismal immersion of a Mandaean, known as the “Rishama,” a prayer is repeated while each part of the body is sequentially cleansed. At the end of the rite, the power and wisdom of ancient Enki as Manda d’Hiya is invoked with the words: “The name of the Life [the Divine Power] and the name of Manda d’Hiya [the Divine Wisdom] are pronounced upon me.”
The most powerful of baptisms are observed on Sunday under the guidance of a Mandaean priest and incorporate much more ritual than the Rishama. They include the sacraments of oil, bread, and water, and end with the sacred kiss upon the head from a priest, a rite known as “giving Kushta.” Possibly the most valuable part of the ceremony for a person’s spiritual progress is a special transmission of energy given them by the priest or preistess, who after the water immersion transmits the Water of Life or Kundalini power into a baptized Mandaean by placing their right hand upon his or her head and calling forth Manda d’Hiya.
At the conclusion of their life, all Mandaeans rise up to Mshunia Kushta, an etheric dimension where they merge with their etheric-body double that has been waiting for them during their earthly sojourn. When asked the location of this etheric world, the priests give the description of an etheric world that apparently overlays the planet Venus and mimics the Earth when it was the Garden of Eden. One Mandaean priest has stated: “There is a star inhabited by men, the descendants of the Hidden Adam [the etheric double of Adam], but they are semi-spiritual in nature, and not gross like ourselves. This star is called Merikh, the star of the morning.” The Mandaean baptismal purifications continue on this “star” until each Mandaean is ready to shed his or her etheric forms and live exclusively in their most refined bodies of light as pure luminaries of gnosis. They are then eligible to return home through the Pleiades stargate to the highest Pleroma worlds of light.
From Mark Amaru Pinkham – Author : THE GNOSTIC CIVILIZATION OF THE MANDAEANS (Excerpted from World Gnosis: Coming Gnostic Civilization)
PHOTO: A Mandean baptism in the Tigris River, May 2003. Credit : Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images
“Spirituality does not come from religion. It comes from our soul.” ~Haile Selassie I
Madonna laboris, 1933. Nicholas Roerich 🎨
“Return to india. I have waited for you patiently for fifteen years. Soon I shall swim out of the body and on to the Shining Abode. Yogananda, come!”
Sri Yukteswar’s voice sounded startlingly in my inner ear as I sat in meditation at my Mt. Washington headquarters. Traversing ten thousand miles in the twinkling of an eye, his message penetrated my being like a flash of lightning.
Fifteen years! Yes, I realized, now it is 1935; I have spent fifteen years in spreading my guru’s teachings in America. Now he recalls me.
That afternoon I recounted my experience to a visiting disciple. His spiritual development under Kriya Yoga was so remarkable that I often called him “saint,” remembering Babaji’s prophecy that America too would produce men and women of divine realization through the ancient yogic path.
This disciple and a number of others generously insisted on making a donation for my travels. The financial problem thus solved, I made arrangements to sail, via Europe, for India. Busy weeks of preparations at Mount Washington! In March, 1935 I had the Self- Realization Fellowship chartered under the laws of the State of California as a non-profit corporation. To this educational institution go all public donations as well as the revenue from the sale of my books, magazine, written courses, class tuition, and every other source of income.
“I shall be back,” I told my students. “Never shall I forget America.”
At a farewell banquet given to me in Los Angeles by loving friends, I looked long at their faces and thought gratefully, “Lord, he who remembers Thee as the Sole Giver will never lack the sweetness of friendship among mortals.”
I sailed from New York on June 9, 1935 in the Europa. Two students accompanied me: my secretary, Mr. C. Richard Wright, and an elderly lady from Cincinnati, Miss Ettie Bletch. We enjoyed the days of ocean peace, a welcome contrast to the past hurried weeks. Our period of leisure was short-lived; the speed of modern boats has some regrettable features!
THERESE NEUMANNTHERESE NEUMANN
Famous Catholic Stigmatist who inspired my 1935 pilgrimage to Konnersreuth, Bavaria
Like any other group of inquisitive tourists, we walked around the huge and ancient city of London.
The following day I was invited to address a large meeting in Caxton Hall, at which I was introduced to the London audience by Sir Francis Younghusband. Our party spent a pleasant day as guests of Sir Harry Lauder at his estate in Scotland. We soon crossed the English Channel to the continent, for I wanted to make a special pilgrimage to Bavaria.
This would be my only chance, I felt, to visit the great Catholic mystic, Therese Neumann of Konnersreuth.
Years earlier I had read an amazing account of Therese. Information given in the article was as follows:
(1) Therese, born in 1898, had been injured in an accident at the age of twenty; she became blind and paralyzed.
(2) She miraculously regained her sight in 1923 through prayers to St. Teresa, “The Little Flower.” Later Therese Neumann’s limbs were instantaneously healed.
(3) From 1923 onward, Therese has abstained completely from food and drink, except for the daily swallowing of one small consecrated wafer.
(4) The stigmata, or sacred wounds of Christ, appeared in 1926 on Therese’s head, breast, hands, and feet. On Friday of every week thereafter, she has passed through the Passion of Christ, suffering in her own body all his historic agonies.
(5) Knowing ordinarily only the simple German of her village, during her Friday trances Therese utters phrases which scholars have identified as ancient Aramaic. At appropriate times in her vision, she speaks Hebrew or Greek.
(6) By ecclesiastical permission, Therese has several times been under close scientific observation. Dr. Fritz Gerlick, editor of a Protestant German newspaper, went to Konnersreuth to “expose the Catholic fraud,” but ended up by reverently writing her biography.
As always, whether in East or West, I was eager to meet a saint. I rejoiced as our little party entered, on July 16th, the quaint village of Konnersreuth. The Bavarian peasants exhibited lively interest in our Ford automobile (brought with us from America) and its assorted group-an American young man, an elderly lady, and an olive-hued Oriental with long hair tucked under his coat collar.
Therese’s little cottage, clean and neat, with geraniums blooming by a primitive well, was alas! silently closed. The neighbors, and even the village postman who passed by, could give us no information. Rain began to fall; my companions suggested that we leave.
“No,” I said stubbornly, “I will stay here until I find some clue leading to Therese.”
Two hours later we were still sitting in our car amidst the dismal rain. “Lord,” I sighed complainingly, “why didst Thou lead me here if she has disappeared?”
An English-speaking man halted beside us, politely offering his aid.
“I don’t know for certain where Therese is,” he said, “but she often visits at the home of Professor Wurz, a seminary master of Eichstatt, eighty miles from here.”
The following morning our party motored to the quiet village of Eichstatt, narrowly lined with cobblestoned streets. Dr. Wurz greeted us cordially at his home; “Yes, Therese is here.” He sent her word of the visitors. A messenger soon appeared with her reply.
“Though the bishop has asked me to see no one without his permission, I will receive the man of God from India.”
Deeply touched at these words, I followed Dr. Wurz upstairs to the sitting room. Therese entered immediately, radiating an aura of peace and joy.
She wore a black gown and spotless white head dress. Although her age was thirty-seven at this time, she seemed much younger, possessing indeed a childlike freshness and charm. Healthy, well- formed, rosy-cheeked, and cheerful, this is the saint that does not eat!
Therese greeted me with a very gentle handshaking. We both beamed in silent communion, each knowing the other to be a lover of God.
Dr. Wurz kindly offered to serve as interpreter. As we seated ourselves, I noticed that Therese was glancing at me with naive curiosity; evidently Hindus had been rare in Bavaria.
“Don’t you eat anything?” I wanted to hear the answer from her own lips.
“No, except a consecrated rice-flour wafer, once every morning at six o’clock.”
“How large is the wafer?”
“It is paper-thin, the size of a small coin.” She added, “I take it for sacramental reasons; if it is unconsecrated, I am unable to swallow it.”
“Certainly you could not have lived on that, for twelve whole years?”
“I live by God’s light.” How simple her reply, how Einsteinian!
“I see you realize that energy flows to your body from the ether, sun, and air.”
A swift smile broke over her face. “I am so happy to know you understand how I live.”
“Your sacred life is a daily demonstration of the truth uttered by Christ: ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.'”
Again she showed joy at my explanation. “It is indeed so. One of the reasons I am here on earth today is to prove that man can live by God’s invisible light, and not by food only.”
“Can you teach others how to live without food?”
She appeared a trifle shocked. “I cannot do that; God does not wish it.”
As my gaze fell on her strong, graceful hands, Therese showed me a little, square, freshly healed wound on each of her palms. On the back of each hand, she pointed out a smaller, crescent-shaped wound, freshly healed. Each wound went straight through the hand. The sight brought to my mind distinct recollection of the large square iron nails with crescent-tipped ends, still used in the Orient, but which I do not recall having seen in the West.
The saint told me something of her weekly trances. “As a helpless onlooker, I observe the whole Passion of Christ.” Each week, from Thursday midnight until Friday afternoon at one o’clock, her wounds open and bleed; she loses ten pounds of her ordinary 121-pound weight. Suffering intensely in her sympathetic love, Therese yet looks forward joyously to these weekly visions of her Lord.
I realized at once that her strange life is intended by God to reassure all Christians of the historical authenticity of Jesus’ life and crucifixion as recorded in the New Testament, and to dramatically display the ever-living bond between the Galilean Master and his devotees.
Professor Wurz related some of his experiences with the saint.
“Several of us, including Therese, often travel for days on sight- seeing trips throughout Germany,” he told me. “It is a striking contrast-while we have three meals a day, Therese eats nothing. She remains as fresh as a rose, untouched by the fatigue which the trips cause us. As we grow hungry and hunt for wayside inns, she laughs merrily.”
The professor added some interesting physiological details: “Because Therese takes no food, her stomach has shrunk. She has no excretions, but her perspiration glands function; her skin is always soft and firm.”
At the time of parting, I expressed to Therese my desire to be present at her trance.
“Yes, please come to Konnersreuth next Friday,” she said graciously. “The bishop will give you a permit. I am very happy you sought me out in Eichstatt.”
Therese shook hands gently, many times, and walked with our party to the gate. Mr. Wright turned on the automobile radio; the saint examined it with little enthusiastic chuckles. Such a large crowd of youngsters gathered that Therese retreated into the house. We saw her at a window, where she peered at us, childlike, waving her hand.
From a conversation the next day with two of Therese’s brothers, very kind and amiable, we learned that the saint sleeps only one or two hours at night. In spite of the many wounds in her body, she is active and full of energy. She loves birds, looks after an aquarium of fish, and works often in her garden. Her correspondence is large; Catholic devotees write her for prayers and healing blessings. Many seekers have been cured through her of serious diseases.
Her brother Ferdinand, about twenty-three, explained that Therese has the power, through prayer, of working out on her own body the ailments of others. The saint’s abstinence from food dates from a time when she prayed that the throat disease of a young man of her parish, then preparing to enter holy orders, be transferred to her own throat.
On Thursday afternoon our party drove to the home of the bishop, who looked at my flowing locks with some surprise. He readily wrote out the necessary permit. There was no fee; the rule made by the Church is simply to protect Therese from the onrush of casual tourists, who in previous years had flocked on Fridays by the thousands.
We arrived Friday morning about nine-thirty in Konnersreuth. I noticed that Therese’s little cottage possesses a special glass-roofed section to afford her plenty of light. We were glad to see the doors no longer closed, but wide-open in hospitable cheer. There was a line of about twenty visitors, armed with their permits. Many had come from great distances to view the mystic trance.
Therese had passed my first test at the professor’s house by her intuitive knowledge that I wanted to see her for spiritual reasons, and not just to satisfy a passing curiosity.
My second test was connected with the fact that, just before I went upstairs to her room, I put myself into a yogic trance state in order to be one with her in telepathic and televisic rapport. I entered her chamber, filled with visitors; she was lying in a white robe on the bed. With Mr. Wright following closely behind me, I halted just inside the threshold, awestruck at a strange and most frightful spectacle.
Blood flowed thinly and continuously in an inch-wide stream from Therese’s lower eyelids. Her gaze was focused upward on the spiritual eye within the central forehead. The cloth wrapped around her head was drenched in blood from the stigmata wounds of the crown of thorns. The white garment was redly splotched over her heart from the wound in her side at the spot where Christ’s body, long ages ago, had suffered the final indignity of the soldier’s spear-thrust.
Therese’s hands were extended in a gesture maternal, pleading; her face wore an expression both tortured and divine. She appeared thinner, changed in many subtle as well as outward ways. Murmuring words in a foreign tongue, she spoke with slightly quivering lips to persons visible before her inner sight.
As I was in attunement with her, I began to see the scenes of her vision. She was watching Jesus as he carried the cross amidst the jeering multitude.
Suddenly she lifted her head in consternation: the Lord had fallen under the cruel weight. The vision disappeared. In the exhaustion of fervid pity, Therese sank heavily against her pillow.
At this moment I heard a loud thud behind me. Turning my head for a second, I saw two men carrying out a prostrate body. But because I was coming out of the deep superconscious state, I did not immediately recognize the fallen person. Again I fixed my eyes on Therese’s face, deathly pale under the rivulets of blood, but now calm, radiating purity and holiness. I glanced behind me later and saw Mr. Wright standing with his hand against his cheek, from which blood was trickling.
“Dick,” I inquired anxiously, “were you the one who fell?”
“Yes, I fainted at the terrifying spectacle.”
“Well,” I said consolingly, “you are brave to return and look upon the sight again.”
Remembering the patiently waiting line of pilgrims, Mr. Wright and I silently bade farewell to Therese and left her sacred presence.
The following day our little group motored south, thankful that we were not dependent on trains, but could stop the Ford wherever we chose throughout the countryside. We enjoyed every minute of a tour through Germany, Holland, France, and the Swiss Alps. In Italy we made a special trip to Assisi to honor the apostle of humility, St. Francis. The European tour ended in Greece, where we viewed the Athenian temples, and saw the prison in which the gentle Socrates had drunk his death potion.
One is filled with admiration for the artistry with which the Greeks have everywhere wrought their very fancies in alabaster.
We took ship over the sunny Mediterranean, disembarking at Palestine. Wandering day after day over the Holy Land, I was more than ever convinced of the value of pilgrimage. The spirit of Christ is all- pervasive in Palestine; I walked reverently by his side at Bethlehem, Gethsemane, Calvary, the holy Mount of Olives, and by the River Jordan and the Sea of Galilee.
Our little party visited the Birth Manger, Joseph’s carpenter shop, the tomb of Lazarus, the house of Martha and Mary, the hall of the Last Supper. Antiquity unfolded; scene by scene, I saw the divine drama that Christ once played for the ages.
On to Egypt, with its modern Cairo and ancient pyramids. Then a boat down the narrow Red Sea, over the vasty Arabian Sea; lo, India.
Bel, the Horned God, the Green Man, Sun God of the Druids. He is the same Shiva Pashupati Lord of the Animals, Osiris the Green Dying and Resurrected Lord. He is also called Pan (Peter Pan), and Dionysus of the Greeks, and Murugan or Sanat Kumara of Sri Lanka and Ancient Mu or Lemuria. Also called Baal of the Canaanites and Israelites and Balaram of the Hindus. We get the festival of Beltane from Bel as well.
I recently learned that my family ancestry on my dad’s side “The Bell’s” goes way back to Scotland and the legendary enigmatic Druids themselves, who took the name Bell in devotion to their Deity Bel when having to adapt to (in threat of persecution and death) and create a syncretism with Christianity in what became the Celtic Coptic Church. 🦚🌿🍀🐉🐍
This book really opened my eyes. I was already vegan and well aware of the horrific abuse of animals in factory farms, but this book helped me really see and understand just how serious the situation is from a health perspective, animal abuse perspective, and environmental crisis perspective as well. Sarah Taylor cites important peer reviewed research to give you the information needed to understand WHY? & HOW? to go from Vegetarian to Vegan.
“I could never be vegan, I love cheese too much.”
Chances are if you’re a vegetarian, vegan or know anyone who is you’ve heard or even said this before. No doubt, you’ve thought it before. Cheese and other dairy products are everywhere in the American diet and that’s the way we love it. We add it to our eggs, our sandwiches, our cakes; we fry it, grill it, cream it, and even string it. It has embedded itself into our culture, become a staple of comfort in our diet and adopted the term “American”. But is it really good; not just for us, but for those that produce it?
Cheese is not the only dairy product we’re obsessed with, though it may be the only one with its own category of addiction (cheese addiction being an actual issue now), eggs and milk have become a mainstay of our diets as well.
Just learning about how horribly the animals are treated, abused, tortured and murdered should be reason enough to stop contributing to this madness, but Sarah gives compelling research showing how this animal agriculture business is literally destroying our environment at accelerated levels everyday. The demand for meat and dairy is just not sustainable.
After all the research she shares about why you should go vegan from vegetarian and then how, which is dealing with the health benefits and how to start replacing dairy and eggs with healthful vegan options, she ends the book with many great recipes by vegan chef Mark Reinfeld.
In the very beginning of her book Vegetarian to Vegan, Sarah Taylor makes a point of giving vegetarians credit for the ways their food choices help animals. And she should know, having been a vegetarian herself until 2002.
That’s when Sarah read John Robbins’ Diet for a New America. His groundbreaking indictment of how America’s milk and egg producers were torturing dairy animals and chickens while destroying the environment persuaded her to go vegan overnight.
She wrote Vegetarian to Vegan to give anyone wanting to make the same switch “a strong enough reason to do it.”
Without brow-beating the reader, Taylor specifically details the short, painful lives and cruel deaths of dairy cows and egg-laying chickens.
Of dairy cows, she writes that between 1950 and 2000, their numbers decreased by half — yet the amount of milk they produced more than tripled. The brutal facts?
Dairy cows live with no access to pasture.
They’re separated from their calves within two hours of giving birth.
They’re also milked by machine several times a day.
Having to yield such an excessive amount of milk is unsafe and unsanitary. Most dairy cows live lives of misery before heading to slaughter at just four years old.
Taylor’s description of egg farms reminded me of the endless stacks of crammed-full cages I’ve seen when visiting them. The hens on lower levels were covered in urine and feces. The smell was unbearable — and unforgettable.
But I’ve also seen so-called “cage-free” chickens living in terrible conditions, with dead hens littering their enclosure’s floor.
What’s worse, Taylor writes, is that egg-laying chickens often turn on each other:
“Cannibalism [among chickens] is a major problem in battery cage systems, but is even worse in free-range and cage-free systems as the hens have greater access to each other and are harder to control.”
In the book’s Part 1, Taylor also bolsters her argument for making the vegetarian-to-vegan switch by pointing out the health and environmental benefits that come from giving up dairy and eggs:
“The truth is that these products are terrible for your health, terrible for our environment, and in almost all cases, are unconscionably cruel to animals.”
In Part 2, she moves on to covering all the bases of making the change. This is where you’ll find info on:
• Learning to tell healthy from junk vegan foods.
• Getting enough protein, calcium and Vitamin B12 on a vegan diet.
• Eating out and entertaining vegan-style.
• Staying vegan away from home.
• Vegan substitutes for eggs, dairy foods and honey.
Part 3 is devoted to cooking vegan, with an extensive collection of recipes and tips by vegan chef Mark Reinfeld.
For any vegetarian struggling to give up dairy and eggs, this book is one of the most important that plant-based literature has to offer!
I highly recommend this book to anyone, wherever they are in their journey, whether meat eater, vegetarian or vegan. It’s thoroughly researched and filled with data that is undeniable in consideration of the impact we all have individually with our eating and spending choices.
To your health, peace to the planet and may all beings be happy and at peace.
The Cathars recognized Jesus Christ as a model Perfecti (a “perfected” priest). He was, however, not the one and only Son of God but an angelic Christed spirit. They maintained that it was necessary for Jesus to come to Earth to receive redemption through purification for his past sins, thereby implying that he had previously incarnated on the planet.
The Cathars’ philosophical leanings regarding Jesus, along with their other heretical revelations, including the belief that Mary Magdalene had once been married to the Christ, eventually got them in trouble with the Catholic Church. But they were deemed harmless until they began to baptize Catholics into their heretical faith, including previously anointed Catholic priests and bishops. Eventually entire dioceses began to defect, and to add insult to injury, the new Cathar converts stopped paying their tithes to the Church.
The Church also became very jealous of the Cathar Perfectis’ ability to soundly defeat leading Catholic theologians in philosophical debate. As heirs to the intellectual Manichaeans, the Cathars nourished both hemispheres of the brain in order to eventually unite them in the production of Gnostic Consciousness.
The Cathar’s heresy and their distaste of everything related to the Church was eventually distilled and summarized by one famous Catholic saint who publicly stated:
[T]hey [the Perfecti] talk to the laity of the evil lives of the clerks and prelates of the Roman Church…they attack all the sacraments of the Church, especially the sacrament of the Eucharist, saying that it cannot contain the body of Christ. Of Baptism, they assert that the water is material and corruptible…and cannot sanctify the soul…they claim that confession made to the priests of the Roman Church is useless…. They assert, moreover, that the cross of Christ should not be adored or venerated [having been an instrument of torture]…”
In 1209, Pope Innocent III issued a bull authorizing a Crusade against the Cathar heresy. This was the beginning of the final, sad chapter in the Cathars’ short history. Over the next thirty years an estimated 500,000 Cathar men, women and children would be tortured and slaughtered. Through much of this time their only protection was the gnostic sympathizers that came to their aid, especially the Johannite Knights Templar who, it was said, were “the secular arm of the Perfecti.”
On the night before the fateful day of March 16, 1244, when 225 Cathars marched down from hilltop fort of Montsegur and into the hands of the Catholic authorities, it is believed that one or more versions of the Holy Grail they had possessed, along with some priceless gnostic manuscripts, were lowered from the mountain and hidden in a local cave.
Finally, with their sacred work in Earth complete, the Cathars chanted songs of thanksgiving for their impending release from the shackles of Rex Mundi and the material world. Then, upon reaching the foot of Montsegur, they joyfully entered the lapping flames of a roaring bon fire and began their ascent to their eternal home in the Pleroma.
From: World Gnosis: The Coming Gnostic Civilization by Mark Amaru Pinkham
Mark Amaru Pinkham is the author of nine books detailing the mysteries of ancient humanity and their civilizations, and the spiritual wisdom derived from them. Listed below in order of publication, beginning in 1997…
👉 The Return of the Serpents of Wisdom
👉 Conversations with the Great Goddess: The Secret Doctrine of the Fifth World
👉 From the Green Man to Jesus: The Origin and Evolution of the Christ Myth
👉 Guardians of the Holy Grail: The Knights Templar, John the Baptist and the Water of Life
👉 World Gnosis: The Coming Gnostic Civilization
👉 Sedona: City of the Star People
👉 Sacred Geometry and the Creation of the Universe
👉 An Initiate’s Guide to The Path of the Dragon
👉 The Complete Seven Rays of Healing System
🌟 And The Sedona Vortex Video
According to accounts from his life, he preached the importance of “realization of the self” and criticized “love towards perishable things”. His teachings concentrate on a moral code of love, forgiveness, helping others, charity, contentment, inner peace and devotion to the God and guru. He stressed the importance of surrender to the true Satguru, who, having trod the path to divine consciousness, will lead the disciple through the jungle of spiritual training.
Sai Baba also condemned distinction based on religion or caste. It remains unclear if he was a Muslim or a Hindu. This, however, was of no consequence to Sai Baba. His teachings combined elements of Hinduism and Islam: he gave the Hindu name Dwarakamayi to the mosque in which he lived, practised both Hindu and Muslim rituals, taught using words and figures that drew from both traditions and took samadhi in Shirdi. One of his well-known epigrams, Allah Malik (God is King) and Sabka Malik Ek (Everyone’s Master is One), is associated with both Hinduism and Islam. He is also known to have said “Look to me, and I shall look to you” and Allah tera bhala karega. He was said to be an incarnation of Dattatreya.
Sai Baba’s date of birth including his birthplace remains unknown. Most information about Shirdi Sai Baba tends to be derived from a book called Shri Sai Satcharitra written by a disciple called Hemadpant (also known as Annasaheb Dabholkar / Govind Raghunath) in 1922 in Marathi. The book itself is a compilation based on accounts by his various disciples and Hemadpant’s personal observations of Sai Baba from 1910 onwards.
There are various beliefs surrounding Sai Baba’s place of birth and parents. According to multiple sources, Sai Baba was born in a small village Pathri in Maharashtra to a boatman called Ganga Bhavadia and his wife Devagiriamma. Sai Baba is also claimed to have been born in Tamil Nadu. According to this version, his mother’s name was Vaishnavdevi and his father’s name was Abdul Sattar. Sri Narasimha Swamy, a devotee of Sai Baba wrote a book Life of Sai Baba. It claims that Sai Baba would make references to Patri in the Nizam State and much later in life told one of his staunch devotees. Many devotees of Sai Baba do not concern themselves with his birthplace or the religion of his family, as Baba actively discouraged such inquiry nor sought to align himself with any region or religion.
According to multiple sources, he was brought up by Fakir in early childhood. Even from an early age, he was always dispassionate and imbibed the detachment from his foster father, the Fakir. Unfortunately, the fakir too died within 4–5 years of adopting Baba.
Sai Baba at Shirdi
Sai Baba’s real name remains unknown. The name Sai was given to him by Mahalsapati[a] when he arrived at Shirdi, a town now in the west Indian state of Maharashtra. The word Sai refers to a religious mendicant but can also mean God. In several Indian and Middle Eastern languages the term Baba is an honorific signifying grandfather, father, old man or sir. Thus Sai Baba denotes “holy father”, “saintly father” or (venerable) poor old man.
Some of Sai Baba’s disciples became famous as spiritual figures and saints, such as Mahalsapati, a priest of the Khandoba temple in Shirdi and Upasni Maharaj. He was revered by other saints as well, such as Saint Bidkar Maharaj, Saint Gagangiri Maharaj, Saint Janakidas Maharaj and Sati Godavari Mataji. Sai Baba referred to several saints as ‘my brothers’, especially the disciples of Swami Samartha of Akkalkot.
Sai Baba opposed all persecution based on religion or caste. He was an opponent of religious orthodoxy – Christian, Hindu and Muslim.
Sai Baba encouraged his devotees to pray, chant God’s name, and read holy scriptures. He told Muslims to study the Qur’an and Hindus to study texts such as the Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Vasistha. He advised his devotees and followers to lead a moral life, help others, love every living being without any discrimination, and develop two important features of character: faith (Shraddha) and patience (Saburi). He criticised atheism.
In his teachings, Sai Baba emphasised the importance of performing one’s duties without attachment to earthly matters and of being content regardless of the situation. In his personal practice, Sai Baba observed worship procedures belonging to Islam; he shunned any kind of regular rituals but allowed the practice of Salah, chanting of Al-Fatiha, and Qur’an readings at Muslim festival times. Occasionally reciting the Al-Fatiha, Baba enjoyed listening to mawlid and qawwali accompanied with the tabla and sarangi twice daily.
Sai Baba interpreted the religious texts of both Islam and Hinduism. He explained the meaning of the Hindu scriptures in the spirit of Advaita Vedanta. His philosophy also had numerous elements of bhakti. The three main Hindu spiritual paths — Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Karma Yoga — influenced his teachings.
Sai Baba encouraged charity and stressed the importance of sharing. He said
Unless there is some relationship or connection, nobody goes anywhere. If any men or creatures come to you, do not discourteously drive them away, but receive them well and treat them with due respect. Sri Hari (God) will certainly be pleased if you give water to the thirsty, bread to the hungry, clothes to the naked, and your verandah to strangers for sitting and resting. If anybody wants any money from you and you are not inclined to give, do not give, but do not bark at him like a dog.”
Baba himself maintained an ambiguous profile, unwilling to identify with either of the two religions. His Muslim devotees were fully convinced that he belonged to their fold, identifying him as an avaliā. The Hindu bhaktas also viewed him as one of them, since he often identified himself with their gods and customs. Sai Baba wanted to belong to all and be shared by all. When pressed on whether he was Hindu or Muslim, he would often get very angry. Once he told a devotee: “You have been with me for eighteen years now. Does Sai mean for you only these three and a half cubits of height?” Sai Baba was able to avoid clashes between the two communities, and, in fact, succeeded in unifying them in an atmosphere of general harmony. In a verse of the midday arti, devotees sing:
“In essence or basic principle, there is no difference whatever between Hindu and Muslim. You took birth in human body to point out this. You look with affection on both Hindus and Muslims. This, Sai, who pervades all, as the soul of all, shows.”
Baba would often talk about the Hindu gods, quoting from sacred texts or even commenting upon passages of the Bhagavad Gita, the Isha Upanishad, and so forth. The names of Krishna and Rama seem to have been particularly dear to him. With his Muslim followers, Baba would always talk of Allah and the Koran, often quoting Persian verses. One of his favourite expressions was “Allah rakhega vaiia rahena”, that is, “Let us be content with what we have, and submit our will to Allah.” On several occasions, Sai reassured his listeners by saying that he, like them, was but a devotee of Allah, a humble faqir with two arms and two legs. In later years, Parsis and even a few Christians would come to Shirdi. Sai Baba respected all creeds, true to his conviction that all religions are but particular paths leading to one ineffable goal. His notion of the unity of all mankind that appealed to everyone was very congruous with Sufism of Islam. “God being one and the master of all also meant that all his creatures were part of one big family,” writes Sikand. “This belief was entirely in keeping with … the teachings of Sufis, who believed that the light of God exists in every creature, indeed in every particle of His creation.” Sai Baba urged his Hindu followers to read their holy books and find their own path. For him, all paths were equally valid, “Ishwar” (the Hindu God) and “Allah” being synonymous.
Padukas of Sai Baba
People coming to his abode were so taken aback to see Hindus, Muslims, and others living together so peacefully that in many instances it changed their entire lives and belief systems.
Sai Baba’s disciples and devotees claim that he performed many miracles such as bilocation, levitation, mind-reading, materialisation, exorcisms, entering a state of Samādhi at will, lighting lamps with water, removing his limbs or intestines and sticking them back to his body (khandana yoga), curing the incurably sick, appearing beaten when another was beaten, preventing a mosque from falling down on people, and helping his devotees in other miraculous ways. He also gave Darshan (vision) to people in the form of Sri Rama, Krishna, Vithoba, Shiva and many other gods depending on the faith of devotees.
According to his followers, he appeared to them in their dreams and gave them advice. His devotees have documented their experiences.